20/20 Hindsight: Mets Bullpen Saved Someone’s Season

The Mets went to Philadelphia to take on a wounded Phillies team who was aboslutely reeling. You knew after this series one of these two teams would still be standing, and the other will look like their past offseason was all for naught. Well, the Mets bullpen would make sure that would happen:

1. As noted by Michael Mayer, the last time a team blew five games where they led by at least two runs was the 2011 Mets. No, not the last time the Mets did it – the last time anyone did it. The closer that year was Francisco Rodriguez with Pedro Beato, Bobby Parnell, and Jason Isringhausen serving as setup men. Prior to this season, no one was saying “Come get us!”

2. We can talk about different parts of this Mets team getting exposed, but no one was more exposed than Brodie Van Wagenen. He mismanaged the “crisis” with Mickey Callaway and Jason Vargas. The media reported his involvement in game decisions like removing Jacob deGrom from a game. There were reports it was more than that as well.

4. This debacle is reminiscent of the 1993 Mets with Vince Coleman throwing fireworks at fans and Bret Saberhagen dousing reporters in bleach. What’s the common denominator between those two Mets teams? The Wilpons.

5. It was good for the Wilpons to take nine years to finally do the right thing by honoring Tom Seaver. Of course, they waited so long Seaver is now suffering from dementia so he cannot travel for these honors, and he may also not have the mental faculties to enjoy the honors being bestowed upon him.

6. The article by Wallace Matthews of Yahoo is completely ridiculous. Not only does he call Vargas the team’s most reliable starter, but he gets a chance to speak with Jeff Wilpon. With that access, he talks about the incident with Tim Healey instead of literally anything else. Honestly, if Jeff wants to talk about that, don’t bother. It’s a waste of time.

7. Jeff Wilpon’s silence on the state of this team and the continual inept way it is run from a number of facets should be met by fans with silence. We could call to organize a boycott or something, but in reality, the team being this soul crushingly bad is going to keep the fans away anyway. When that happens, Jeff’s silence will be met with silence.

8. Worse than that, Jay Bruce gets a key pinch hit home run and a walk off double, Robinson Cano has multiple 0-for-5’s, and Edwin Diaz blows a save. Right there, his biggest move completely busted. Actually, that’s not fair, it was a bust long before that.

9. So much for scapegoating Dave Eiland and Chuck Hernandez because the Mets bullpen imploded in the four game set. Worse yet, these were games the Mets absolutely should have won:

10. What Dominic Smith has done this season has been nothing short of remarkable. This team needs to be smart and really look at him in left field for the rest of the year to determine if he can be a long term solution there. If nothing else, the Mets need as many cheap bats as they can get.

11. Amed Rosario has had a number of peaks and valleys, and recently, this has been a bit of a peak. Over his last 11 games, he is hitting .342/.366/.500 with four stolen bases in as many attempts. Ultimately, there still remains hope for him.

12. The Mets need to figure out what to do with Cano, and they need to figure it out sooner rather than later. Realistically speaking, he needs to be moved to a less demanding position like third base and get some days off. As each day passes, it’s clear he can’t play second everyday.

13. Moving Cano to third solves the problem there, and it allows the team to move Jeff McNeil back to second base. This should clear that spot for Smith and hopefully Brandon Nimmo if his injury proves to not be career altering.

14. Speaking of Nimmo, only the Mets could take a talented fan favorite player like him, have him get to an All Star level, and then do all they can to completely ruin him. It’s a not so fun pattern with this team.

15. Todd Frazier has done a lot to help this team and build his trade value. The problem is he’s still a rental who is not really getting you something in return. Really, if you want to make a difference at the deadline, you need to trade major pieces, but with the young talent so close, you can’t do that either.

16. Michael Conforto continues to show himself to be both a great and underappreciated player. He should be an All Star this season. If he isn’t, it’s because this team stinks, and the organization can’t be bothered to promote it’s most talented and perhaps best position player.

17. Chris Mazza getting called up at 29 years old is a feel good story. It’s a feel good story just like Tyler Pill and Drew Gagnon was before him. He should enjoy the moment, but we shouldn’t be expecting anything from him.

18. Chris Flexen looks like a real weapon in the bullpen. Brooks Pounders may become that as well. The optimistic Mets fans could look at them joining Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman in front of Diaz, who really cannot be this bad next year, to become a formidable bullpen. As Mets fans, we should know better than to hope.

19. Callaway does sound ridiculous when he says the Mets are so close, but he’s not wrong. This team continues to fight and play hard. If they had even a capable bullpen, they’d be in a much better position. If fact, this is the only team in baseball with more blown saves (20) than saves (18). If you just take back half of those blown saves, the Mets are 47-35, which puts them a game out of first place.

20. Short of honoring the 1969 Mets this weekend, and maybe sometime late in the season to see if Pete Alonso breaks some home run records, there is zero reason to go see the Mets at Citi Field other than your love of the Mets and baseball. The latter is why the Wilpons have us and will never sell the team.

9 Replies to “20/20 Hindsight: Mets Bullpen Saved Someone’s Season”

  1. Jeff’s Weaver says:

    1. The bullpen is about money and Wilpon wanted Swarzak out, not to spend on a Joe Kelly plus Familia or a lefty now in St Louis


    2. THE crisis is that Mickey cared, does not get support or accountability from ownership, Mickey did not fire Eiland, Mickey gets too much interference, they spent too little, he did not want to dump Swarzak (he coached him in Cleve?) and/or he was tired of criticism for decisions he was not allowed to dis lose that he never made in the first place.

    BLAME WILPON – he is the leader, he in an unprecedented way, dumped Dandy, hire a player agent, gave agent free reign in first year vs learning slowly and should never FOR WILPON IS NOT QUALIFIED TO BE COO IN ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION have left Brody bare without a QUALIFIED “Report to”

    4. Not at all

    MOVE ON!!!

    5. Just a dreadful marketing and branding team!!!

    The ownership is real estate bean counters, lack creativity, have insufficient cash flow to even think goal first then funding second, just have to cut every corner out of expediency and/or had animosity or REJECTION by Seaver…

    6. Maybe he is reliable and next month you forget about that?

    When are interviews more than softball questions and what does it take to accept tough questions? A marine, like Sandy …. but Sandy never was COO

    7. Citifield is a safe summer outing, destination for a family where the score is not the ONLY reason to attend games. NY has high quality of life if you spend. Many fans love the Mets and daddies bring their kids to Met games as young as possible.

    It would take a catastrophic event to get a boycott or zero spend or letting a de Grom leave as they let Reyes leave to Toronto

    8. If the team was winning, Cespedes coming back, Nimmo healthy, Lowry not disabled for the year Diaz closing games like last year …. maybe not

    My question — how much Tape on Diaz was watched from 2018, 2017

    That costs money to hire an evaluator…

    9. Too early and unfair

    10. Cheap bats?

    Lagares is a loser contract… move on unless a cheap deal for 2020

    11. Amed did not blow a routine grounder in game five yet, there has been enough progress to just let him be…

    12. This year is now garbage time. Yes, evaluate Smith with his remarkable 22 RBIs and zero outfield assists. Let Brody reduce his humiliation in any way he sees fit. But have a press conference w Mickey w Jeff and say that he Brody is calling the shots on Cano…

    13. Nimmo, neck? Forget about him for now.

    I like O’Neil in the outfield, he makes himself much more valuable, at third and at SS. If Frazier goes, ok Cano, ok. Who has an outfield arm beside unreliable Lagares?

    Gomez is a mental case at the plate!

    14. Players have to speak up but training at season end, off season, training camp must really push hard for info… or consequences…. this is a system discipline

    So we do not know who to blame but it smells bad for Wilpon.

    15. With the Mets out of it, you have to ask Frazier what he wants next year. Decide if you want him, he wants you, speak often and make him happy at deadline and get a prospect first, salary relief second.

    16. You are delirious. Talk statistics, game winning RBIs, leverage stats, fielding etc…

    You are delirious !!!

    17. Great point!!!

    Let them get a MLB pension!!!!

    18. Poundful can not locate a fast ball. Flexen and the kid from Boston intrigue me.

    I like to see more of Bashlor and Peterson …



    Callaway seems to be very much liked and seems to motivate these guys.

    He should be retained on that… but can he get the relievers to locate better!!!!

    20. Alonso should work on hitting for an average, getting a single to start a rally in the eighth and try third base again… one day they will have an outfield and Dom can only play left or first….

    1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

      “15. With the Mets out of it, you have to ask Frazier what he wants next year. Decide if you want him, he wants you, speak often and make him happy at deadline and get a prospect first, salary relief second.”

      –I lean to not wanting him back, even if he finishes the year decently. With McNeil and Lowrie under contract for 2020 and Cano under contract as the most expensive backup 2Bman in human history, the Mets might do better by saving their few bucks towards an actual starting OFer (or even a Billy Hamilton). Todd will be 34 in 2020. After his 2018 and not having a BAbip this high since 2014, this year feels more like his dead cat bounce than anything. He may also be getting pitched to more because of how weak the hitters behind him in the lineup have been.

      Assuming he continues to play like this (and if he doesn’t, the Mets won’t want him), Frazier will be a 3 WAR player who will probably command either 1/10 or 2/16. The Mets are so bereft in the OF at this point they’d do well to put their money there. Have to admit I don’t think McNeil is the answer in the OF, particularly when it’s the only spot available for Dom.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        I like Frazier, but it’s time to move on. Mets need third base for Cano.

        1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

          The Mets will surely want to try Cano at 3B this year if they’re thinking of playing him there regularly or semi-regularly (or even occasionally) in 2020. With all of 2 games there in 15 seasons, and with Cano going into his age 37 season, I’d be concerned he no longer has the reflexes for it, and whether he can make the long throw without his arm leaving its socket.

          Just saying, there’s a lot to be nervous about when it comes to moving a guy at his age.

    2. metsdaddy says:

      Bullpen is about talent, not money. A bullpen of Diaz, Lugo, Gsellman, and Flexen might be really good next year.

      As for the Wilpons, they’re terrible and will continue to be terrible.

      1. Jeff’s Weaver says:

        Bullpen talent:
        Good luck with finding more than the recent two year call ups of Met prospects!!!
        I will give you another factor PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE at A AA AAA
        Talent, what professionally led team has not resurrected washed up pitchers as a scouting commitment and/or paid big bucks to sign FAs or trade for cumbersome contracts?

        I get the Frazier stuff… hopefully there are leaders to take the baton

        Cano a quagmire!!!!!!
        The guy, this week — intentionally flys out for he does not want to break the record for most GIDPs ever …

        This talk — of moving Wheeler? Really?

        What arm makes assists in this OF.

        Why not make O’Neil into a Zobrist?

        1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

          re: McNeil as Zobrist–not sure he really makes it as an OFer, despite the good numbers. His sample size in the OF is the equivalent of about 1/3 the number of those games at the plate, and we can’t bank on 16 games as a hitter being meaningful. This is one of those cases where your eye test has a good chance of being more useful than the numbers. He just doesn’t seem like a respectable OFer to me, over the long run, and while I’m reluctant to credit the Mets system with much, there did seem to be a reason why, in an era where versatility is prized, the Mets had only played McNeil in the OF in dire emergencies.

          re: moving Wheeler–given the Mets won’t be contending this year and they won’t be re-signing him, it does make sense to get what they can for him. His FIP’s decent this year and other GMs (and Wheeler’s agent) know that his ERA has plenty to do with the Mets’s defense. Don’t see the Mets paying 3/45m for him, though i suppose they could keep him until year’s end and gamble on the QO?

          1. Jeff’s Weaver says:

            McNeil: Is there a relentless drive and physicality to try the outfield experiment longer? Any Met outfielders coming up who can throw to third base from right field, or today? What if Cano stays, how would that effect McNeil’s playing time?

            Speaking of Cano’s ROI at $20/24m, speaking of next year’s rotation, speaking of who is improving or digressing as starters over last three years, Wheeler at 97-99, slider >90, worth ethic, Cespedes a wasted $110m four year commitment…. you would walk away from paying Wheeler $80 over four years?

            That much of a gamble…. to you?

          2. metsdaddy says:

            I think Wheeler is worth the money, but I wonder with the financial resources if he’s the guy in whom you invest.

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